Domestic Violence Must End


You Can Help End Domestic Violence

You Can Help End Domestic Violence

According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development domestic violence is the third leading cause of homelessness among families. If a couple has a violent argument in the home, it is usually the woman and children who flee. They flee with little but what is on their backs. This is another reason why Domestic Violence Shelters are so important. They can place the women and children into temporary housing. Most can then also help them to find housing for her and the children. In my long experience I have never known a man to leave unless he is the victim.
Survivors of domestic violence face higher rates of depression, sleep disturbances, anxiety, flashbacks (PTSD) and other mental disturbances. Many are too ashamed of being beaten to go to a doctor or mental health worker and ask for help.

Stop Family Violence

Stop Family Violence

Domestic Violence contributes to poor health in survivors. Chronic conditions such as heart disease, gastrointestinal disorders can become more serious due to repeated battering. Fear and anger build up in the victim and the stress can lead to other health issues.

Among women brought to an Emergency Room after being beaten, were socially isolated, and had fewer social and financial resources than women who were not abused. Part of the emotional abuse is social isolation. The victim is cut off from friends, family, therapists, neighbors because the abuser needs to have total control over the victim. Abusers don’t want women to hear there is a place to go and get help. i often would put the hotline number on a piece of paper and pass it to the victim without being seen. Each city has a hotline number and you can help save a life by getting the number and gently putting it into a woman’s hand.

Without help, girls who witness domestic violence are more vulnerable to abuse when they are teens and young adults. Without help, boys who witness domestic violence, are far more likely to become abusers of their partners and/or children as adults. This continues the cycle of violence into later generations.

 

There is Never a Reason to Hit Another Human Being

There is Never a Reason to Hit Another Human Being

 

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Remember That


 

 

Often when victims are beaten, they are hesitant to tell others. Especially men. If you know someone who has bruising, their partner is controlling, or they seem afraid a lot, find the phone number of your shelter and give it to them privately on a piece of paper. You just may save a life.

Namaste

Barbara

 

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Real Men Don't hit Women

Real Men Don’t hit Women   Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

Domestic Violence Awareness Month


 

If a man or a woman stays in a violent home, their life will continually rotate around the cycle of violence. Help is available. Look at this cycle and see if it is familiar to you.

If a man or a woman stays in a violent home, their life will continually rotate around the cycle of violence. Help is available. Look at this cycle and see if it is familiar to you.

 

 

 

 

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                                                                      You do not deserve to be hit, slapped, kicked, punched 

                                                                      mentally abused, ridiculed, forced to have sex, or suffer trauma.

Millions of Americans are living in violent homes. The children witness the violence. This is very bad for children to see. A son, even if he tries to protect the victim, statistically he will grow up to be an abuser. A daughter, learns to be a victim. Growing up in a abusive home will effect children for the rest of their lives.

 

If the daughter of the violent home grows up, down deep, if a boyfriend or girlfriend begin to batter them, unconsciously they believe that it is what they deserve. They don’t. Nothing they could say or do would justify their being battered. Fear is a huge part of this relationship.

 

When a person feels fear and knows that they live in violence, everything they do could bring about abuse. The kids are fighting, his boss chewed him out. The grocery store did not have his favorite beer. It could be that he didn’t like the dinner you cooked. It could be because your Mother sent you a present and the FedEx guy who brought it to the door smiled to brightly at you or seemed too friendly.

 

It could also be that your son’s report card wasn’t as good as usual and his teacher wrote a note that he has been acting out at recess and occasionally in the classroom. Schools have zero tolerance these days and you are terrified that he will hit your son. Often in these cases, tension begins to build until it feels as if it were thick enough to cut with a night. You have two choices. One is to just play the evening out. Knowing that you will put your body between the children and the batterer. You are sick with worry and you don’t want to have to go to the hospital again. They know, even though you deny it every time you end up in the ER.

 

Your other choice is to tell the hospital staff that you are not safe at home. They will call the police. He will be arrested. Beginning this process, can quickly change your entire life. It could also make it worse because you belong to him. That ownership, he feels, gives him the right to do anything to you that he wants to do. If you stay long enough, you will die of your injuries or from a heart attack because you are living will huge amounts of stress every day of your life. You can’t blame yourself, no matter how often he/she tells you it is your fault. You can’t tell by looking if someone is an abuser. It may not even start until the honeymoon, or pregnancy or with no obvious trigger.

 

There are millions of people ready and willing to help you. To make sure you have shelter. To make sure your injuries are documented and treated. They will see to it that your children go to a safe school, have help with homework, and will provide someone to talk with them and listen to what they have to say. You don’t have to stay. You are worth much more than a life of violence. Since Domestic Violence in generational, the only way to protect future generations is to get out and stay out. Do it for your children if you can’t do it for yourself.

 

Male or female, no one deserves to feel unsafe in their own homes. It is a horrible way to live and it damages you and all of your children. Taxi drivers know where shelters are and will take you to one. Once the shelter door closes behind you, you have taken the first step in making a new life for yourself, or yourself and your family.  Namaste.

 

You can get out. There is help for you.

You can get out. There is help for you.

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Domestic Violence is a Crime


Purple ribbons signify that we do not accept Domestic Violence

Purple ribbons signify that we do not accept Domestic Violence

Pregnant women get beaten often.

Pregnant women get beaten often.

You can’t tell by looking if that guy who is so sweet and kind to you is also an abuser. He could begin battering you on you wedding night, Everything could be wonderful until you get pregnant.The loving man you married could begin battering your pregnant belly. Where is that wonderful guy you married? Everything could be all right until he doesn’t get his first promotion.

Violence in the home is a crime. That never changed.

Violence in the home is a crime. That never changed.

Is it your fault? No. How can I be sure? Abusers will always blame their behavior on anyone but themselves.  You will find that he is never pleased with what you do. Dinner isn’t on the table when he comes home. Or the children are too noisy when he comes home. Or you stopped at the store on the way home from work.  A man was looking at you at a party. Your family wants to come and visit you for the Holidays. One of the children needs to go to football practice and needs his father to give him a ride.  You ran out of milk and need to go out. He always looks at events as your failure to meet his standards.

So what is the difference between a guy being upset with you and living with the batterer? If your significant other, boyfriend, spouse or teen-age son punches, hit, pushes,  or slaps, you he is abusing you. If he shoves you face into dinner, or punches a hole in a wall, he is a batterer. You Can’t Change Him!

There is no specific time you can expect abuse to start.

There is no specific time you can expect abuse to start.

Physical abuse most often is accompanied by emotional abuse.  If you are being called a pig, stupid, a whore, a bitch, lazy, a lousy cook, fat slob, you are in an abusive relationship. The truth is that it isn’t your fault. And you have millions of sisters who are hearing the same words and are feeling the same fists. After the first incident, he will often cry, swear it will never happen again. He will also tell you he loves you more than life. This is the honeymoon aspect of the cycle of violence. It won’t last. Even if you call the police and he spends the night in jail, he will abuse you again.   Unless you leave and get to a shelter or someplace else that is safe, you will be expected, when he comes home,  to sleep with the enemy. To lie down in bed next to the man who spit on you, pulled your hair, called you a whore in front of your children and then punched you over and over. Lie down with the man that you love and who sent you to the Emergency Room. Female victims are the only victims of a violent  crime who often must sleep with the person who hurt her.

The cycle of violence

The cycle of violence

If you are in a violent relationship, begin to squirrel money away, and medications for you and the children. Hide a fully packed suitcase so that if you and the children need to flee in the night you can quietly get out. Any taxi driver or bus driver can take you to a shelter. The only thing the shelter will ask of you is not to reveal its address. Abusers coming to the door is not good. I can remember a night an abuser showed up to teach us a lesson. He had a gun. I called the police and they hauled him away. Every woman and child in the shelter must be kept safe.

Advocates across the nation work together to keep women and children safe. Over the years, Domestic Violence advocates have gathered to light candles and mourn those who lost their lives to an abuser. We also celebrate those who are alive and no longer living in fear with the person who hurts them. In October 1987, we observed the very first Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Disarm Domestic Violence

Disarm Domestic Violence

Ending violence in the home requires national vigilance and dedication from every sector of our country. Everyone in America must stand with advocates, the first responders, victim service providers and our criminal justice system to protect those who Live with the Enemy. Women and children need the basics of food, shelter, warm clothes. They need counseling, financial assistance so she doesn’t have to return to the man who beat her face to a bloody pulp. She needs help to find a place to live without fear.

I commend every woman who has worked in Domestic Violence. I began in the 70’s and saving lives was my motivation.  Shelter workers are some of the bravest people I have ever known. If you have some time, call your communities hotline and volunteer or volunteer at a shelter.

You can help. We can do it together.

We Are the World


Hurricane Sandy has now come, destroyed and gone. We, as citizens of our country need to come together regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, or economic status and turn around and see the millions of people who are injured, scared, in pain, overwhelmed and homeless.

Yes, FEMA will help, and the states will help, but people need more. They need each other. They need the rest of the country to care and to pull together with donations and volunteers. People are still in shelters. Children have lost their favorite stuffed toy. Some people have not one material thing left in this world. Nothing left to show that they were ever there or ever cared about anything.

Material things are not the most important things, but warm clothes, a roof over your children’s heads, and food and water are necessary to maintain life. So please donate to the American Red Cross tell them your donation is for Hurricane Sandy. Take time out to be grateful for what you have and share with the millions who have had their lives devastated.

For those who live in communities not as hard hit as New Jersey, New York, Virginia, West Virginia, Rhode Island and elsewhere you can help on a more personal level. If neighbors are without power, invite them to have a warm shower and a meal. Help to put up tarps on roofs and perhaps drive children to school. Share a hug and let someone know you care that they are suffering and feeling alone and helpless. Take them to church, temple, or mosque so they may have relief and support there also.

This is the time for the 99% to show that we are strong and love our fellow Americans. We have open hearts and will lovingly and compassionately reach out and help those in need. We are Americans and will help each other and anyone who is in need. So, to the food banks, to your churches, to your local shelters give what you can and give it with love.

Satelite picture of America after Hurricane Sandy